What is wrong with this picture? (top is 2004 DVD; bottom is 1977 version DVD)
(hints: added flying object; dewback; are those *roman soldiers*?!)
Here's the problem:
- you love Star Wars
- you like high quality restored video and audio
- you are a purist and didn't like the added computer graphics (CG) junk to the 2004 DVD box set version
- you want the cleaned up video and audio, but without the baggage of those changes!
(See the changes in the film side-by-side in HD (about 15 minutes, no sound))
You've probably heard that in the Greedo vs. Han showdown, it was edited to make "Greedo shoot first".
But did you know *Greedo never shot*?! 8-)
All shots of the Jawa sandcrawler in full-view were changed.
Many dogfight or other model scenes were completely remade in CG.
There are even some subtle, "um wtf, george?" moments
If you are like me, and have the 2004 DVD box set version (or the 2 version limited edition DVD release with 1977 and 2004 versions) *and* have the 1977 version of the film DVD -- then this is for you! (The 1977 DVD version was dingy colors, poor quality (non-anamorphic) encoding, and stereo basic dingy sound -- it seemed a bit of a eff you to the fans. Why not release it an anamorphic DVD *at least*, if not the same start point (cleaned audio and video from the celluloid film) that the 2004 remaster began with?)
I took the two DVDs and merged them.
I managed to do so without altering/recompressing a single remastered video frame! (I just removed if it was an added scene like Jabba the Hut; or replaced with 1977 version of video when the 2004 switched the video (for example, landspeeding into Mos Eisley spaceport were all sorts of changes). (I used a great tool "avidemux" for frame-level MPEG2/VOB editing and made all my cuts with regard to I, B, and P frames to make sure all frame sequences were left pristine).
I was able to keep the 5.1 Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio soundtrack intact!
There are about 36 scene removals or replacements.
This item shows comparison of the two films next to each other to get a sense of the changes and "fixes". High Quality / HD version.
If you have both DVDs, you can follow my steps and re-cut the same version of the film.
That's right, for only $16 and some setup/configuration, you can make this same nearly ideal 1977 version of the film in the highest quality video and audio, too!
You need some A/V tools but all of them can be found on linux, windoze, or mac. (I did all this on my Mac).
See my maker script here. All the files I used as well as the edit lists can be found in this item's dir. The edited DVD is created via one script that runs on the command line. So you need:
to have command line shell/terminal (add cygwin to windows; use existing terminal for mac; use existing terminal shell for linux)
for the 5.1 channel surround sound, just slightly harder to setup: "aften" and "audio_combine" (instructions in "README.txt").
Think I'm crazy/obsessed? This version is huge improvement to the 1977 DVD release, being faithful to the 1977 version in theatres. I spent a week moonlighting on this project; ILM/Lucas spent reportedly $10M for the remaster and changes.
Feel free to drop a review below if you have any comments or suggestions!
August 1, 2011 Subject:
Mr. Wright seems to think that it is the complaints of fans that have hurt the movies, or at least that they are somehow unfounded. Oh no, sir, our issues are COMPLETELY legitimate, let me assure you. George Lucas should have left alone that which was near perfect. I was ten years old in 1977, and my mom took me to see STAR WARS 5 times at the theater (she loved it every time too.) It changed my life. I have a son named LUKE. The SPECIAL EDITIONS are certainly NOT the STAR WARS I knew and loved. If you love them, then enjoy them. I will not get in the way of your enjoyment. But do not tell me I don't have the right to complain about something I DO NOT like. Why don't YOU get that?
Yoda a "one man joke machine"? If that's what you thought of him then you didn't even understand EMPIRE at all.
Could I make a better film than STAR WARS? No, and neither could Lucas, even though he tried, and failed with the Special Editions. I will continue to "complain" about the SE's (and the not even worth mentioning prequels) because I have every right to. I can only assume you are young were unable to be a part of STAR WARS before it was forever sullied by unnecessary tinkering. Long live the originals!
I hate it when people complain about the Special Editions of Star Wars or the prequels. Sure Han now shoots first and the ending of Jedi is weaker, but they are still Star Wars!!! And they are the ultimate version of George Lucas's storyline.
Why can't people get that???? Sometimes these complaints have hurt the movies more than helped them. Remember the complaints over Jar Jar Binks? If not people complained so much about this character, that George almost made him nonexistent i the rest of the films. And now when he is seen, he is no longer funny.
I think at times people forget that R2-D2 & C-3PO were a regular Laurel and Hardy in the first Star Wars Film. Then Yoda was a one man joke machine when he was introduced 4 years later. But when Lucas went back to finish his space opera, the viewers no longer wanted what made the original trilogy so special. So we only get half of Lucas's vision as the finale.
Here is an idea, if you think you could do Star Wars better, than go spend $10 million dollars and make your own version. Quit complaining about the version we currently have. These films were never perfect (even the special editions) but that is what makes them so special. Besides Lucas could have done worse --- he could have redone the entire saga using the cast of "twilight". Then a person would have a good reason to complain since not one of those involved really has been considered a decent actor or actress.
April 20, 2010 Subject:
Boring movie anyway...
April 19, 2010 Subject:
the work and scripts done is really what this item is.
it has a demo video file to show the changes done
for people who actually want to consider trying this with their
the scripts and such are what are CC zero, not the film.
but you'll note there is no result video from my scripts
in this item -- only the silent comparator.
why dont you drop a link to the youtube comparisons if they exist so readily?
April 19, 2010 Subject:
Waste of time
I know I'll understand this kind of fan. Maybe...
All I know is that this is NOT public domain in any sense, nor is a relevant video since youtube is full if even better comparisons.
April 18, 2010 Subject:
VERY well done tracey. This looks like a painstaking project. Good work, i'm very impressed. the side-by-side comparison really is amazing.